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Flirt Pole: The Toy that Exercises Your Dog’s Mind and Body

Mar 19, 2020

You have an energetic dog who you find challenging to provide enough physical and mental exercise to keep him happy and well-mannered. A Flirt Pole may just be the answer you are looking for. Strange name for a dog toy. Basically, it is an over-sized cat toy. A pole with a rope and toy attached to it. You can purchase one already made or if you are handy you can make one yourself out of a PVC pipe, rope and a fleece dog toy. Then you can have fun decorating it with colored tape.

To play using a Flirt Pole, you drag the toy on the end of the pole in a circle while following some simple rules to work on your dog’s manners and all while you are doing hardly a thing.

Benefits of Flirt Pole play:

  • Tire your dog in record time without tiring yourself
  • Practice your dogs cues (sit, down, wait, take it, leave it, drop it) in a fun way
  • You will be working on your dog’s ability to change gears. Can he rev up and then settle down? A very important skill for a well trained dog.
  • Use the Flirt Pole before a walk so that your walk is more enjoyable
  • Just use the Flirt Pole instead of a walk
  • Use a half sized Flirt Pole in the house

Recommended Flirt Poles:

  • Outward Hound Lightweight, good for smaller dogs
  • Squishy Face Studio Heavier duty, good for stronger dogs

Rules for Playing with the Flirt Pole

All good games have rules, so here we go:

  • You’re dog must lay down, look at you, leave the toy alone and wait to be told to get it before playing
  • Your cue “get it” will start the game and your dog can begin to chase the toy
  • After a few turns of pulling the toy out of reach allow your dog to catch and play with it
  • Your dog can tug on the toy until you cue him to “drop it”
  • Have your dog “down” and wait for calmness. Then start the game again.
  • Be sure to change direction so your dog is not going in only one direction
  • If your dog grabs the toy before you cue the start of the game, is mouthy or jumping on you, take a time out and or start over from the beginning.

When Not to Use a Flirt Pole

As with all things there are times when using a Flirt Pole is not advisable:

  • Dog who have joint issues or injuries that could be worsened by quick changes of direction or jumping
  • If your dog does not yet respond to the following cues: wait, take it, leave it, drop it. Begin training your dog with treats, then a tug toy and finally the Flirt Pole. Need help with this? Contact a qualified, positive reinforcement trainer.
  • If you do not know the dog well as it is not save to rev up an unfamiliar dog
  • If playing with the Flirt Pole stimulates your dog so that he is unable to settle down afterwards
  • If your dog does not enjoy it